The New York Jets own one of North America’s dirtiest dozens
Anyone questioning why the New York Jets continue to play the Aaron Rodgers waiting game received a not-so-subtle reply to their inquiries on Wednesday night.
Wednesday was a day long awaited in the realm of the NBA’s Sacramento Kings, who earned a playoff berth for the first time in 16 seasons with a 120-80 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. Thus ends the longest active playoff drought among the so-called “big four” professional North American sports leagues, almost five months to the day they inherited it from MLB’s Seattle Mariners (20).
Of course, a new squad among the quartet must stand at the bottom and the Jets are that cursed organization. It’s been 12 years since the Jets last partook in the NFL playoffs, which produced the latter of consecutive appearances in the AFC title game in 2010-11. Only adding to the misery is the fact that the Jets have posted only one winning season in that span, the cursed 2015 effort that saw them miss out on a chance to end the streak at four. They’ve finished in the AFC East cellar in seven of the dozen seasons.
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Even if the Rodgers deal somehow completely collapses, the Jets have enough young, promising talent to remain optimistic. Sauce Gardner, Breece Hall, and Garrett Wilson are set to enter their second professional seasons after fascinating freshman campaigns and they’ve brought in exciting veteran names in the early stages of this offseason like Mecole Hardman and Allen Lazard.
The Jets finished 7-10 last season but lingered in the AFC playoff picture until the final stages of the campaign, primarily done in by issues at quarterback – hence their relative patience with both Rodgers and his in-name-only employers in Green Bay.
If it’s any consolation, the Jets will possibly have some company over the next two weeks. The NHL’s Buffalo Sabres are trapped in an 11-season drought of their own and that streak could continue if the current playoff picture holds. As it stands, the Sabres (35-31-7) are five points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins for the third and final Eastern Conference wild card spot. Buffalo has a busy weekend ahead, hosting the New York Rangers on Friday (7 p.m. ET, MSG/NHL Network) before traveling to Philadelphia on Saturday.
While the Jets are alone at the top of the NFL’s active drought list (the Denver Broncos are in second at seven seasons), they’re not even halfway to tying the longest all-time streak of playoff absences, that dreadful mark of 25 shared by the Washington Redskins (1946-70) and Chicago/St. Louis Cardinals (1949-73).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags
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